The relationship between constitutional arrangements and democratic developments has long been a topic of debate among political scientists and jurists. This new book explores these questions with special reference to the Middle East, where political instability and problems related to the consolidation of nation states are particularly acute. Taking the political crisis over the presidential election in Turkey in 2007 as its starting point, the book provides in depth analysis of how these events illustrated the ways in which the constitution and its supporting institutions could be mobilized for narrow and highly controversial political purposes. Questions of state sovereignty are then explored in the cases of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, contrasting them with European examples such as Sweden's constitutional arrangement in relation to its monarchy, and the European Union's current constitutional transformation. This is an important book for students and scholars interested in contemporary and historical perspectives on issues of nation building, state sovereignty and democracy in Europe and the Middle East.
Elisabeth Ozdalga is Professor of Sociology at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, and Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Turkey. Sune Persson is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.